Brucellosis in dogs occurs because of a bacterial infection. The condition isn’t life-threatening, at least for the canine suffering from it. Pregnant dogs suffering from the condition will abort their litter, while their male counterparts will experience infertility.
The bacteria Brucella canis is responsible for causing canine brucellosis. Dogs all over the world are at risk of getting it. The bacteria can easily be spread during mating. Females can also transmit it through their milk or uterus. Their aborted fetuses can also spread the disease through contact. In rare cases, the bacteria can be transmitted via the air.
As mentioned, brucellosis in dogs causes late abortion of the litter. If the puppies make it past birth, they will likely die an early death. These are the only signs of the condition as far as females are concerned.
Males on the other hand will experience infertility if their testicles become infected. If they do get infected, then they will swell up before atrophying. It is also possible for the bacteria to infect the spinal discs in both sexes. This will cause weakness in the rear legs or even paralysis in some cases.
In order to diagnose canine brucellosis, the veterinarian will have to perform titer testing. This can quickly be done in the office. However, it’s important to note that this test isn’t extremely accurate. That’s why it’s important for your dog to be tested again. Laboratory testing is much more accurate however.
Owners should know that brucellosis in dogs can be quite difficult to treat. The antibiotics required to treat it may not be effective in some cases. Another problem is that this course of treatment can be quite expensive. Even if your dog is successfully treated, he or she will still be a carrier for life. This is why any dog that’s infected will need to be spayed or neutered.
Canine brucellosis is very common in kennels due to the fact that dogs may be in constant contact with each other. To ensure that the disease isn’t passed along, all dogs should be tested thoroughly before coming into contact with other animals. It’s also possible that the bacteria can be passed through the air, so all areas will need to be ventilated properly.
It’s also important to note that the bacteria that causes brucellosis in dogs can possibly infect humans. Although it’s very rare, you shouldn’t take any chances. When handling an aborted puppy, you should always wear a pair of gloves. Gloves should be worn when handling any body fluids too.